Thanks to the power of couriers and online stores, we’re now increasingly buying our stuff directly from factories and Far Eastern wholesalers, rather than relying on local stores. This is very bad news for national retailers, but very good news for buyers and shippers. Or is it? Because the hidden sting in the tail of most of these transactions is the duty and tax you have to pay when the item lands in your country. Now there’s a way to check that how much that’s likely to be, before you spend your money on an online ‘bargain’.
Duty Calculator is what it says on the tin, an online service which lets you find out what kind of tax and duty you’ll be liable for on a particular product. Its strength is its simplicity. Just pop over to the site, enter in the details of the countries and product/s involved (no sign up necessary) and press the Calculate button.
The results appear instantly, and you also get a handy breakdown of what the total fees are likely to be. Suddenly some of those bargains may not seem so cheap after all? There’s also the issue of the infamous ‘handling fee’ that some couriers and shippers charge, which can be ridiculously high, and are nothing more than an additional fee masquerading as an option.
All in all, though, this is a great tool for anyone that enjoys buying direct, and even newcomers, as it really does pay to check sometimes. It’s also worthwhile noting that even with duties and taxes, a lot of the direct to consumer prices are real bargains, although you need to make sure you’re buying from a reputable and customer friendly outlet. Because warranty returns to the far reaches of the planet can be expensive!